Turtle Center Day Two

photo by Rosmarie Herschbach Fry

Today as I cleaned their shells,
some slapped their flippers against my hands
while some were tranquil Buddhas.
To each I softly sang
a reassuring mothersong.
And I tried to catch the eye of each,
when I turned her to brush her underside.
What did they see?
Reptile to human, what did they see?

Maybe just another being,
with different kind of skin
and blood running hot instead of cold.
I hummed my song and also I tried to see.
Human to reptile, what did I see?
Just another being
with a different kind of skin
and blood running cold instead of hot.

I sang as soft as I could and thought
how turtles of old began on the land
and when the dinosaurs came
some ran away to sea.
How those of the sea return in respect
to lay their eggs on the land.
But even before, didn’t we both and all,
crawl from the sea so long and long ago?
Perhaps, dear turtle in my hand,
you and I are really
not so different after all.

©Susa Silvermarie 2024

photo by Rosmarie Herschbach Fry


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